MAF approves $4.6 million for new erosion-control programmes

13 November 2007

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has provisionally approved more than $4.6 million for new erosion-control programmes in the Gisborne District.

The funding, granted under the East Coast Forestry Project, will provide for erosion control on 3,184 hectares, says project manager Randolph Hambling.

He says approval has been provisionally given for 28 applications in the 2007 application round and five part-applications carried over from the 2006 round.

"Approvals are up 58 percent on 2006. It is a very pleasing result.

"The higher level of approvals in 2007 reflects considerable interest in the potential co-benefits of carbon farming.

"It is also linked to the recent notification of Variation 176 to the Combined Regional Land and District Plan, which will require landowners with the most erosion-prone land in the district to establish and maintain effective tree or shrub cover.

"A number of landowners are keen to tackle their erosion problems now and not wait until 2011 when the variation will take effect. By doing so they will be able to undertake the treatment of eroding land before the problem gets larger and when it suits them," he says.

New forestry plantings, including Radiata pine, Douglas fir, Eucalypt, Redwood and Cupressus species account for 60 percent of the area covered by the approvals.

Reversion of scrub-covered areas to indigenous vegetation account for 28 percent of the area approved. And planting of wide-spaced poplar and willow poles account for the remaining 12 percent of the area, he says.

The government established the East Coast Forestry Project in 1992 as a response to erosion damage in the district following Cyclone Bola. The scheme provides grants for various soil conservation treatments.

Media contact:

Randolph Hambling, MAF East Coast Forestry Project Manager, ph: 06 986 8690

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